Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home are a sensitive subject when it comes to children. While both those companies are encouraging developers to create child-friendly ‘skills’, there are concerns around privacy issues and data storage.

Former 7digital CEO Ben Drury is hoping to avoid that with his new venture Yoto: a smart speaker for children that doesn’t have a microphone or use / record voice commands.

Instead, it will use physical cards to play music, radio stations, stories and educational experiences. Aimed at children aged two and up, the £109 device will have a subscription service providing parents with more cards (and thus more apps/experiences) throughout the year.

For example, a label might create a card to represent a compilation album of children’s music and distribute it through Yoto: when slotted in to the device, the music would stream.

The company has launched Yoto on Kickstarter with an initial funding target of £20k, and 24 hours in it’s already nearing £14k in pledges.

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